Rachel Maddow has built a career on her straightforward personality and eloquently stated liberal views. The political commentator started off hosting radio programs, but found her calling as part of the MSNBC nightly lineup.
After multiple substitute hosting gigs for the network, the Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power author was offered her own show, The Rachel Maddow Show, in 2008. Since its inception, Maddow, 43, has established herself as a reliable voice in the divided world of political commentary.
Before the MSNBC host covers the Democratic National Convention (July 25–28 in Philadelphia) and the Republican National Convention (July 18–21 in Cleveland), she exclusively shared 25 fascinating facts about herself with Us Weekly.
1. I wear my dad’s high school ring. It has a pirate ship on it. His team was the Buccaneers.
2. I worked on HIV/AIDS issues with the ACLU National Prison Project and on prison issues with the National Minority AIDS Council.
3. I have a really hard time pronouncing the word sixth.
4. I have huge hands and tiny wrists. Design flaw.
5. Some of my best friends in cable news work at Fox News. (Don’t tell anyone!)
6. I skipped a grade.
7. I used to have long, straight blonde hair. When I cut it off in college, I was as surprised as anyone when it grew back and all of a sudden, I looked like Rick Santorum.
8. My mom is from Newfoundland.
9. I have a first cousin who was a professional wrestler in Canada.
10. I once had laser eye surgery live on the radio. I said, “I can smell my eyeballs burning,” and they cut to commercial.
11. I learned to split wood from my pastor.
12. Love at first sight is a real thing — it happened to me 17 years ago [with artist Susan Mikula].
13. I drive a 2010 Ford pickup. It’s the best vehicle I’ve ever had.
14. I played almost every instrument in the junior high orchestra, but I was terrible at all of them. I was best at being the conductor.
15. I wrote the introduction to a Batwoman comic book.
16. My movie obsession is the Thin Man series.
17. I don’t know the phone number at my own desk. I am a text- and email-based life-form.
18. I have two big black dogs.
19. I go fishing every chance I get. Sometimes after my show, I fish at midnight in the Hudson River in NYC.
20. I once had a very short-lived moonlighting job hosting a gay love songs call-in show with a cohost named Martini.
21. My workout soundtrack is slow, sad, tear-in-your-beer country music.
22. I put mustard on my eggs.
23. I still have a retainer that my orthodontist installed when I was a sophomore in high school. I don’t know what it’s for, but all my dentists have just decided to leave it there.
24. I once gave a spy comic called Queen & Country to a senator on the Intelligence Committee.
25. I’m a terrible correspondent.